The Intercontinental Group of Hotels has been one of my go-to rewards and hotel programs and I have stayed at countless of their hotels all around the world – and InterContinental is their top brand of luxury hotels and name-giver. It’s worth to take a closer look at this hotel brand!
So, who are they? InterContinental is the flagship brand of the IHG Group. Of their more than 4,900 hotels, 179 hotels in more than 60 countries belong to the InterContinental brand. They are one of the oldest, international hotel brands, starting over 60 years ago!
In their own words, “We’ve been on the international scene for over 60 years so noone knows the world like we do. We love to share our knowledge with our guests and they love our understated service and style.”
That’s actually a pretty fair description – IC prides itself on providing local knowledge via its concierges to make your stay just perfect. I had some great experiences with IC concierges, one of them in Vienna got us tickets to a sold out performance during a new-years visit!
So, why should I care? The biggest reason to know about InterContinental hotels is their participation in the IHG Rewards program! IHG points are easy to earn with stays at their 4,900 hotels, the vast majority of them being very affordable, or via the IHG Rewards Credit Card! As their most upscale brand with some great properties around the world, they make for aspirational stays on IHG Reward points. I have used the free nights from my IHG Rewards card at the InterContinental New York and InterContinental Hong Kong – both very expensive with rates over $350/night. I have also used points at the InterContinental Bora Bora, one of my favorite hotel stays of all times and have a trip planned to the InterContinental Ko Samui, Thailand. Many of these properties are very expensive on cash rates, but make for wonderful award redemptions. All the points earned at mid-level Holiday Inn hotels are put to good use!
And the InterContinental hotels are old-style luxury – the rooms are well equipped and usually decorated in understated luxury. You will have all the service you’d expect, from bell boys to well versed concierges, and all the amenities, from (several) restaurants to a pool and gym! Keep in mind that the best IC hotels I have stayed at are in Asia – some of the US properties seem to have a tough time keeping up with the “luxury” the brand promises!
There is some truth about being one of the oldest brand and being first in many places: You will often find an InterContinental hotel before any of the other American chains arrive – for example the IC Manila was here long before the Marriott or Hyatt arrived. It’s nice to be able to find a known brand off the beaten path!